Barrington Acupuncture

Dr. Mark Gibson, M.D. Offering treatment using Eastern & Western medicine

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What are migraines?

What are migraines?

Migraines are a complex entity meaning multifactorial starting with genetics. Being female and/or having a family history of migraines place one at a higher risk.

That said, triggers are usually needed to set the process into motion. What occurs was once thought to be largely vasoconstriction (narrowing) of the external cranial arteries leading to a prodrome- warning symptoms that a migraine will shortly occur.


Serious light and noise sensitivity may occur with Migraines.

That is followed by vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) leading to the throbbing pain, usually unilateral, plus serious light and noise sensitivity and nausea and vomiting. This construct appears accurate but not complete as inflammation of the arteries has also been implicated.

Confirming the diagnosis with your own physician and trying a rescue medication plus avoiding triggers will often control the process.

If that is not the case in terms of frequency and severity of the headaches, then acupuncture would be useful as there is good evidence that both can be successfully addressed.

Identifying triggers is still essential and include avoiding high stress, bright or flashing lights, poor sleep, dehydration,alcohol and certain foods and drugs and red meats- the red is nitrates painted on the meat.

Acupuncture has been utilized in the acute process but, like rescue medications, needs to be utilized during the first 30 minutes. Acupuncture will thus have its greatest impact when not suffering an acute attack by significantly reducing the freq. and severity of migraines.

I look forward to assisting you in dealing with this often debilitating condition and, as a physician, will review your complete care plan with you.  Contact me at (847) 304-4073 or email me

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